On Sunday, June 5th the Catholic Church, and other Christian churches too, celebrate the great Solemnity of Pentecost. The reading from the Acts of the Apostles tells us how tongues of fire descended on the twelve apostles and disciples of Jesus, and how they were filled with the Holy Spirit, received the gift of tongues, and began to speak in different tongues.

The reading from the first Letter of Paul, Corinthians 12, reminds us that there are various kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit, different forms of service but the same Lord… and goes on to say that for each individual the manifestation of the spirit is given for some benefit.

Corinthians 14 encourages us to “pursue love but strive eagerly for the spiritual gifts.”The Gospel reminds us once again of the powerful words of Jesus, “Peace be with you,” and after repeating that phrase Jesus said, “As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”

Called, gifted, and sent, to the apostles many years ago, and to us today too. This recalls the timeless words of St. Francis, “preach the gospel at all times. Use words if necessary.” Each of us has been given unique gifts, to teach, to serve, to befriend others, to engage others in dialogue, in prayer, in service.

Sometimes we think that it is only priests and nuns who are called to serve, but in the sacraments of Baptism, and in Confirmation we too received the gifts of the Spirit and in the Eucharist, when we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus, we are strengthened and missioned to go forth and serve others.

The paths of service are varied: some are called to teach, to work with the poor, to bring others back to health in medical professions, to work in agriculture growing food to feed others, to work supplying and delivering needed goods, the list goes on, and all are important. However, we need to realize that we do not work just for ourselves, to gain wealth or prestige but we are indeed called to serve others as the people in this photo who work in Migrant Ministry at Daylesford Abbey.

daylesford abbeySome take a somewhat radical step by becoming vowed religious, as have the Norbertine priests at Daylesford Abbey. Once you meet one of these men, you quickly see their joy, their peace, their dedication, as they live in a community of mutual care and support.

Sometimes people think that they could never be a vowed religious. They doubt if they smart enough, they are on a career path leading to a lovely home and wealth. But when you meet and get to know the men at Daylesford Abbey, you see that they have discovered a great wealth themselves, a wealth of peace, of support, of trust and collaboration.

“The concept of communio, communion in life is the center of their life at Daylesford Abbey. ” https://daylesford.org/vocations/our-life/ There is also a gentle rhythm to their life, as they gather for common prayer and to chant the Liturgy of the Hours.

“Peace and reconciliation are at the heart of their work as a community. From social justice initiatives to spiritual direction, from the sacramental ministry to retreat programs, the Norbertines of Daylesford Abbey have committed themselves to peace, justice, and healing.” 

Peace, in our war-torn world, and in our streets and towns marked by violence. Justice for all, based on our common dignity as People of God, worthy of respect. Healing, for those suffering and recovering from the pandemic, for those struggling with depression, young people struggling to find meaning in their lives, the homeless, sleeping in fields, by rivers, along dirt roads, enduring stifling heat and freezing cold, the unemployed searching for work, all who cannot see a future worth living.

The gifts of the Spirit are given to each of us, and it is our task to discover and implement these gifts. St. Paul’s Letter to the Corinthians reminds us that there are various kinds of gifts. “There are different kinds of spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; there are different forms of service but the same Lord; there are different workings but the same God who produces all of them in everyone. EVERYONE- this means each of us, and our task is to discover and utilize our gifts.

daylesford abbeyDaylesford Abbey and the Norbertine can help us discover our gifts and use them to help and serve others. The priests work in parishes, teach in schools, serve the homeless in Philadelphia, and even use rock music to reach young people. The photo shows youth at the annual Abbey Fest.

Go to https://daylesford.org/ministry/ to discover where you might use your gifts.

Many areas will overlap. Parents are indeed teachers for their children, doctors and nurses bring health to others, business leaders hopefully work to bring decent homes and lifestyles to others.


But rest assured, we are all given gifts and it is our job to discover where our gifts  can best be utilized, not just for ourselves but for others, to make our communities and our world a better place.

This in turn will bring us peace, joy, and love. So let us begin!